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Managing sickness absence

Download our template sickness absence policy and adapt for use in your own practice

07 Jun 2019

When employees fall ill, employers must ensure that they manage sickness absence properly in order to minimise the impact on the business, ensure fair treatment and provide appropriate support, including support for employees with disabilities. We have therefore expanded the range of template documents we provide to members to include a template sickness absence policy.

Key Points for Employees

  • Your employer’s sickness absence policy will cover a range of sickness related issues, such as reporting requirements on the day you fall ill, sick pay and the meetings you may be called to if your absence is more significant, so it is advisable to familiarise yourself with this policy

  • If you suffer from a condition or conditions that have lasted for 12 months or are likely to last for 12 months or more, this could amount to a disability in law.  Your employer may have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to return to work

  • If you are concerned that your employer is not following their own policy or they are acting unreasonably in response to sickness, you can raise an informal concern or a formal grievance

Key Points for Employers

  • It is always advisable to have a written sickness absence policy in place and ask new employees to read this

  • Apply the policy consistently to all employees as differential treatment can lead to grievances from your employees

  • When employees have a condition or conditions that have lasted for 12 months or are likely to last for 12 months or more, it is advisable to consider whether the employee may have a disability and to take advice on an employer’s legal obligations in these circumstances.